Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson is obsessed with besting Tesla and Elon Musk. Here’s his game plan for making it happen.

Lucid Air
Unlike other EV startups that have floundered in the industry, Lucid is so far holding its own. Lucid Motors
  • Only a few budding EV startups are making good on their promises to shake up the auto industry.
  • Lucid Motors, a startup in Newark, California, is one of them, experts and analysts say.
  • Here’s Lucid’s game plan, led by CEO Peter Rawlinson, to realize its ambitions.

Lucid Motors is one of many companies trying to make a name for themselves within the trying world of electric vehicles.

Unlike many other nascent players that have floundered under intense capital expenditures and manufacturing challenges, the startup in Newark, California, is so far holding its own against the likes of Rivian. But CEO Peter Rawlinson has his sights aimed quite a bit higher than that.

There is a lot going for Lucid right now: The company went public this year, pushed its first cars off assembly lines, and hit a major EPA-range milestone on its flagship vehicle.

Below, you can read more about Lucid’s leadership, its performance against other industry contenders, and its recent successes and SPAC deal. Still, the startup isn’t exempt from the challenges facing a changing industry – you can read more on that, too.

CEO Peter Rawlinson leads the company

Peter Rawlinson
Peter Rawlinson has been the CEO of Lucid since 2019. Lucid Motors

At the helm of Lucid is Peter Rawlinson, a former chief engineer of the Model S under Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO. He left Tesla after three years, feeling frustrated and limited in his work there.

Rawlinson, 63, is a mechanical engineer by training. He joined Lucid as CTO in 2013 and rose to power as CEO in 2019. He’s determined to lead in the same space that’s seen the rise and fall of other EV startups, such as Nikola, Lordstown, and Faraday Future.

Sources told Insider that Rawlinson’s primary motivation was beating Tesla and one-upping his old boss. He said he wanted to build the “best car in the world.”

Read more:

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Lucid as a contender

Lucid Air interior
Sources said Lucid’s flagship luxury sedan, the Air, was everything Tesla’s Model S wasn’t. Lucid Motors

Alongside Rivian, Lucid is widely considered Tesla’s most promising rival.

The company is making its debut with its flagship luxury sedan, the Air. First up is the $US169,000 ($AU226,616) Dream Edition that offers a 520-mile (837km) range. The automaker has plans to release less expensive versions in the future, and it’s also developing an SUV, the Gravity.

Sources told Insider that the Air was everything Tesla’s Model S wasn’t: It’s got 115 miles (185km) more range, more acceleration, and a different take on a minimalist interior. As a result, many found the vehicle – and the company – an impressive contender.

Read more:

Lucid Air takes aim at the Tesla Model S with $US69,900 ($AU93,730) base price and 406 miles (653km) of estimated range – see more

The race to become the next Tesla is heating up. Here’s how Rivian, Lucid, and the other top contenders are planning to come out on top.

2 of Tesla’s most promising rivals are picking up steam

Lucid is the Tesla of electric-vehicle startups, and the stock is set to soar almost 60%, Bank of America says

Lucid is the next Tesla or Ferrari and a legit EV startup, BofA says

Becoming noteworthy

Lucid factory
Lucid began getting vehicles off assembly lines last month. Lucid Motors

Lucid has made many headlines in recent months. It not only hit an EPA rating of 520 miles (837km) but also started getting vehicles off assembly lines. The company said it planned to begin customer deliveries in October.

Investors and industry experts are generally bullish about the company, saying it’s built to last and a good place for budding entrepreneurs and engineers to start their careers.

Read more:

EV startup Lucid Motors’ flagship luxury vehicle just hit a 520-mile (837km) driving range on a single charge. Experts say that’s about 200 miles (322km) more than most drivers need.

EV startup Lucid’s first car can travel 520 miles (837km) on a full battery – beating Tesla by 115 miles (185km)

Lucid says its first electric car drove 445 miles (716km) from Los Angeles to San Francisco without charging, easily besting Tesla’s range

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SPAC deal

Lucid HQ
Earlier this year, Lucid followed the footsteps of many other EV startups and went public via a reverse merger with a SPAC. Lucid Motors

Earlier this year, Lucid followed the footsteps of many other EV startups and went public via a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company. The deal with Churchill Capital IV brought in a whopping $US4.5 ($AU6) billion – the largest SPAC deal the industry has seen.

But where others fell hard after taking their companies public via SPAC, Lucid has generally seen success.

Read more:

Lucid Motors spikes 20% in public debut as CEO says it’s well-positioned to compete with Tesla

Churchill Capital shareholders approved the SPAC’s merger with Lucid Motors after CEO Michael Klein appealed directly to retail investors

The CEO of Rivian rival Lucid explains why he’s hustling to take his EV startup public ASAP: ‘Time is of the essence’

Lucid Motors is set to go public with a $US24 ($AU32) billion valuation. It probably couldn’t have happened without billions in Saudi money.

Churchill Capital IV soars 33% after report says the SPAC is nearing a deal to take EV-maker Lucid Motors public

Industry and internal challenges

Lucid Air
It’s not easy to build an all-star team, ramp up manufacturing, and deliver the world’s most efficient EV. Lucid Motors

While Lucid is a strong player in the world of EVs, many challenges – both specific and industry-wide – could stand in the way of its long-term success.

Supply-chain issues have wreaked havoc on major automakers across the globe. Lucid has struggled to build relationships with suppliers that don’t necessarily want to place their bets on a risky startup. Getting the Air out saw a few delays, and quality control may prove vital for any electric-vehicle startup trying to outdo Tesla. It’s no easy feat to build an all-star team, ramp up brand-new manufacturing processes, and deliver the most efficient EV in the world.

Read more:

2 of Tesla’s most promising rivals keep getting delayed

Rivian rival Lucid’s CEO thinks the EV industry is due for a brutal shakeout because startups are missing one key ingredient

Rivian rival Lucid’s CEO says he delayed his $US77,000 ($AU103,251) EV by almost a year because he can’t gamble on quality control: ‘We have one shot at this’

The CEO of Lucid Motors explains the important lesson his former boss Elon Musk taught him about leadership

Are you a current or former Lucid employee? Do you have a news tip or opinion you’d like to share? Contact this reporter at [email protected]